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Is it fair to give NQTs the most challenging classes?

Discussion in 'Education news' started by TES_Rosaline, Oct 22, 2019.

  1. MissGeorgi

    MissGeorgi Occasional commenter

    My year after NQT i had a timetable which was entirely set 3. Nightmare. Someone pointed this out, some of my set 3s were swapped for set 2s instead, but the more experienced teachers were very unhappy about this and in some cases struggled a lot.
    JohnJCazorla likes this.
  2. GeographyGuy

    GeographyGuy New commenter

    This happened to me in my NQT year. A timetable full of mostly year 9s - 350 different pupils in total. Result was one less qualified teacher teaching once my year was up. I went back to my better paid job.
  3. bevdex

    bevdex Star commenter

    I think it must be very different in secondary schools. In primary, NQTs are usually assigned to year 3 or 4 in ks2 and year 1 in ks1. While important years, they are not subject to external exam preparation. I am the only NQT I know who started in yr6 and stayed there for all but 4 years of a 24 year career.
    Grandsire likes this.
  4. colpee

    colpee Star commenter

  5. Grandsire

    Grandsire Star commenter

    Snap, Bevdex - now you’re no longer the only one you know!

    By virtue of my age and experience, I can now forecast with great accuracy which classes will come to me: I get the weirdos and nutters every year.

    Strangely, though, after about three days they somehow become MY weirdos and nutters, and gain a certain charm. Three months in, they all seem pretty normal, and definitely preferable to everyone else’s classes of loonies and thugs, and by the end of the summer term the thought of my lovely lot not being around in September makes me feel sniffy and sad. By then, of course, I’m already worrying about the next lot of weirdos and nutters heading my way...
    JohnJCazorla and bevdex like this.
  6. bevdex

    bevdex Star commenter

    I concur Grandsire! (except I won't get another collection now as I retired in the summer.)
  7. yodaami2

    yodaami2 Lead commenter

    Well done you! I think you have different pressures in primary, you couldn’t pay me to do it! I think Tom B is talking out of his bottom. I believe it is a rare school that treats NQTs like this. They are given a mixture. They most likely perceive them to be the worst. Also; full timetable, er no. they get double the PPA time of a QTS. Yes it’s tough for NQTs but it’s also tough for the rest of us. If you stick it out you learn strategies... Though I do think it’s harder than it’s ever been.

    SEBREGIS Lead commenter

    I'm not totally convinced this happens, at least, not all the time. Any good HoD will argue that the process would be bad for staff retention. And if you don't have well developed behaviour management skills it can just seem like you've been landed with a terrible class, because problems are magnified. I know it DOES happen, but maybe not s often as suffering NQTs think it has.

    SEBREGIS Lead commenter

    That's very professional of you. Sadly, I know of HoDs who do the exact opposite. In one instance, I saw an NQT given nothing but bottom set 'sink' groups. They lasted less than a week.
  10. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    @SEBREGIS I have worked in departments (mercifully briefly) in which your teaching timetable was a reflection of your place in the pecking order in relation to the HoD. He or she cherry-picked the the top groups and the A level, the 2 i/c had the pick of what was left, and so on down to the NQTs, whose timetables were composed of the classes other teachers wanted to dump. This particular HoD justified this in deterministically, by claiming that 'throwing NQTs in at the deep end', where they either 'sink or swim', 'culled those unsuitable to the job'. This attitude of NQTs as expendable made me think of the young subalterns in the RFC, although this would be like facing the Red Baron on you first solo flight.
    peter12171 and JohnJCazorla like this.
  11. Lalex123

    Lalex123 Occasional commenter

    All this means nothing if you’re the only teacher of a subject.

    In my NQT year I taught everyone in KS3 and 2 classes in KS4. They were all difficult (some more so than others). If the school took away the most difficult what would be the point? They’d miss out on my subject. I worked in a challenging school in an area of high deprivation (the worst in the country at one time). Are we saying that NQTs should only go for jobs in schools where the behaviour is never challenging?

    All these core subject trainees need to grow a pair and get on with it! Try teaching a marginalised subject and I’ll show you what challenging really means.
  12. Robfreeman

    Robfreeman Occasional commenter

    I've seen nqts given all bottom sets, I've seen nqts get all top and a mixture. I remember my nqt year where I did get all bottom sets. That was because the teacher I replaced suddenly quit she was very experienced and good with bottom sets and I was given her timetable. Nice lady when I met her, very good teacher.

    One of the problems you have as an nqt is that you don't know the difference between a bottom and top set, another issue is that you haven't learnt the strategies to teach both sets of groups. It's that bit of you don't get those stratagies until you do it but you can't push the nqt to much or they quit.

    I've also seen the teachers who refuse to take all bottom sets or want their preferred group and kick up a fuss until they get their own way or partly their own way so the nqt tends to suffer and this happens usually before they start. Which is wrong but sadly many of us have seen that happen.

    Its actually affected my teaching quite profoundly as I'm good with bottom sets and as such usually inherit them when I move schools as such I have very little experience with top sets. I think in 8 years I've had 46 groups two of them have been top sets.

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